St Mark's Roman Catholic School
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|St Mark's Catholic School|
106 Bath Road
|Department for Education URN||137995 Tables|
|Age||11 to 18|
|Houses||Becket, Campion, Clitherow, Fisher, More, Pole|
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The original idea for a mixed Catholic secondary school in Hounslow came from Fr (later Canon) Musgrave in 1936. He was the Parish Priest of SS Michael and Martin’s Church but his plans were delayed by the Second World War. In 1952, two sites were offered, one near Green Lane and the second at 106 Bath Road which included an Orchard.
Canon Musgrave died in 1955 and it was under his successor, Canon John Mackenzie, that building work began in 1958. The school was to be known as Archbishop Myers Secondary School and was to accommodate 450 pupils. The first 279 arrived on 10 May 1960 and were welcomed by Headteacher Patrick Boland and 11 staff. The builders remained until April 1961 and the School was officially opened in March 1962.
In 1972, the school became a Comprehensive and changed its name to St. Mark's. The uniform changed from maroon to navy blue. Originally six forms of entry were planned with a split site – a Senior School located at the other end of Hounslow High Street. These plans were dropped and in 1978 the buildings of the old SS Michael and Martin's Primary School were included in the enlarged St. Mark's site. The original Parish Church dating from 1886 became a Sixth Form Common Room.
Patrick Boland retired in 1978 and was replaced by Patrick Topp. St. Mark’s contained 800 pupils and 50 teachers. Topp was succeeded by David Sheath in 1986. By the time of Sheath’s retirement the School was recognised as one of the best in the London area. Paul Enright took over in 2001, and was succeeded in 2018 by Andrea Waugh-Lucas. The school has more than 1,200 students.
In January 2009 Ofsted graded St. Mark's School as outstanding in every category. Inspectors stated “The school has achieved a near perfect balance of ensuring that pupils make great progress and attain high standards but at the same time develop into well-rounded, independent, caring, courteous and upright citizens ... There is a delightful atmosphere in the school. This is a place where the individual is valued, individual strengths are celebrated and where pupils are proud to do well."
The Diocesan inspection of the school which took place at the same time also graded the school outstanding in every category. Inspectors stated that “St. Mark’s Catholic School provides an outstanding education.”
The School's examination results rank St. Mark's among the best comprehensive schools in England. In summer 2010 82% of students achieved 5+ A*-C GCSE grades including English and Mathematics, the best total in Hounslow Local Authority for the second year running. At ‘A’ Level over 80% of grades were A*-C and over a hundred students gained places at University including Oxbridge and Medical/Dentistry/Performing Arts Schools.
When pupils start at St. Mark's they are assigned to mixed ability tutor groups. They remain in the same tutor group until they finish Year 11. The school uses a combination of setting and mixed ability teaching to deliver the curriculum. This gives pupils the best chance to achieve their full potential. Classes are set in Mathematics from Year 7, Languages from Year 8 and there is some broad banding in Science from the end of Year 9. Class sizes are reduced in a number of subjects in Year 7 to aid teaching and learning. This means there are six tutor groups but these are often divided into eight teaching groups.
At Key Stage 3, pupils at St. Mark’s follow a wide curriculum: Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, ICT, Technology, Music, Drama, Art, Physical Education, PSHCE, Modern Foreign Languages and Learning for Learning.
At Key Stage 4 all pupils study Religious Education, English, English Literature, Physical Education (core), Mathematics, Science, whether separate or combined, PSHCE and a Technology-based subject. The vast majority continue with a Modern Foreign Language and pupils can choose from ICT, Art, Business Studies, Drama, Geography, History, Physical Education, ASDAN, Child Development and Music.
There are a number of alternative pathways for a limited number of pupils linked to attendance at college for part of the week. These include construction, hair and beauty, food, sports management and mechanics. Staff use a variety of teaching methods so that pupils can develop a range of learning styles. Lessons are differentiated and carefully planned to cater for the needs of all pupils. The school is well equipped with the latest ICT facilities including a wireless network, laptops, thirteen computer suites, a recording studio and interactive whiteboards.
The School offers a wide range of over 25 subjects at AS and A level: Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Classical Civilisations, Critical Thinking, Drama, English Literature, Economics, Film Studies, French, German, Government and Politics, Geography, History, ICT, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Media Studies, Music, Physics, Product Design, Psychology, Religious Education, Sociology, Sports Studies, Textiles. In addition the School offers a two-year vocational course. Through the Catholic Consortium links with Gumley House School and Gunnersbury School, the School is able to offer students an even wider range of combinations of subjects.
Students’ education at St. Mark's is enriched by a wide range of activities occurring both after school and during lunchtime. These change with the time of year and the particular interests of staff and pupils. Field trips, visits abroad, visits to the theatre and museums, and Year Group outings are established parts of the extra-curricular life of the school. Regular extra-curricular sporting activities include basketball, badminton, football, athletics, cricket, rugby, tennis, hockey and netball.
Notable former pupils
- Elvis Costello – Songwriter and musician.
- Denys Baptiste – Award-winning saxophonist.
- Tim Don – World Triathlon Champion and Olympian.
- Dean Gaffney – Actor
- Graham Stack – Professional footballer (Hibernian).
- Michael Mancienne – Professional footballer (Chelsea/Wolves).
- Rajiv Ouseph – Badminton player 
- "GB Player Profiles - Rajiv Ouseph". Badminton England. Archived from the original on 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.